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Short Takes: January 2011 

There's a book for every New Year's resolution: 1) Read More Local Authors

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2) Lose Weight, Eat Right, Get Healthy

Crazy Sexy Diet

Kris Carr, foreword by Dean Ornish, MD, preface by Rory Freedman

Skirt!, 2011, $24.95

With her trademark ebullience, Woodstock author, cancer survivor, and lifestyle guru Carr exhorts readers to "Eat Your Veggies, Ignite Your Spark, and Live Like You Mean It!" Whether you embark on a 21-Day Adventure Cleanse or stoke your "God Pod Glow," Carr and her posse are kick-ass guides.


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3) Quit Waffling

Decisions, Decisions: How to get Off the Fence and Choose What's Best—For You!

Randy W. Green, PhD, foreword by Dr. Joseph Riggio

The Lyons Press, 2010, $14.95

Is your relationship or work life stuck in an unproductive rut? Psychologist, educator, and public speaker Green—a resident of the aptly named Hopewell Junction—offers the tools to get out, including practical steps to overcoming self-imposed rules and learning to make "Exquisite Decisions."


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4) Clean Your Room (a Little)

A Perfectly Kept House Is the Sign of a Misspent Life

Mary Randolph Carter

Rizzoli, 2010, $55

Subtitled "How to live creatively with collections, clutter, work, kids, pets, art, etc. and stop worrying about everything being perfectly in place," Dutchess County author and photographer's Carter's compendium of artfully overstuffed living spaces is balm to the soul of the guilty not-neat.


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5) Get More Informed

Tales From the Sausage Factory: Making Laws in New York State

Daniel L. Feldman & Gerald Benjamin

Excelsior Editions, 2010, $24.95

Feldman, a former Democratic Assemblyman from Brooklyn, teams up with Benjamin, a political scientist at SUNY New Paltz and the former Republican majority leader of the Ulster County Legislature. Their book provides insight into how law and policy are shaped in New York, and what might be done to correct the legislature's current dysfunction.


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6) Make Peace

Study War No More: A Jewish Kid from Brooklyn Fights the Nazis

Jay Wenk

Llumina Press, 2010, $13.95

Longtime Woodstock politico Wenk pens a moving, detail-rich memoir of his experiences as a very young infantrymen, thrown behind German lines in World War II. His afterword offers a perspective born of many decades in the anti war movement, concluding that "the true act of patriotism is saying NO!"


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7) Relax

The Pot Book: A Complete Guide to Cannabis

Edited by Julie Holland, MD

Park Street Press, 2010, $19.95

Now that medical marijuana has hit the cover of Time, Hudson Valley psychiatrist Holland's wide-ranging anthology of cannabis essays is mainstream enough to give to your mother. Contents range from scientific research and cultural history to essays on legal issues, pot and parenting, and an interview with Tommy Chong. Inhale this book.

Speaking of...

  • A list fit for your New Year's resolutions.


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